The 10th Canal Bank Shuffle takes place October 20-22, 2011.

We want it to be the best Shuffle ever and
it's shaping up to be just that!!


The Canal Bank Shuffle is thrilled to announce the addition of one of the most sought after Blues artists of the modern era to our lineup.
 Multiple Grammy & WC Handy Award winner, Joe Louis Walker is one of the hottest and most heralded blues artists of our time, and has signed to appear at the Shuffle 2011 -- We are ecstatic!!
He was just finished second to Buddy Guy in both the Entertainer of the Year category and Contemporary Blues Male Artist of the year at the Blues Music Awards, 2011!!
Walker was named the winner of the 2010 Living Blues Awards - Critics' Poll as "Most Outstanding Musician (Guitar)."

 His CD "Between A Rock & The Blues" was named the 2010 BMA ALBUM OF THE YEAR in Memphis, TN.
 Joe Louis Walker was born in San Francisco, California.  Walker first picked up the guitar at the age of 8 and became a known quantity within the Bay Area music scene by the age of 16. While publicly performing through his teens, he soaked up many more influences (especially vocalists like Wilson Pickett, James Brown, Bobby Womack & Otis Redding).
Walker has played with John Lee Hooker, JJ Malone, Buddy Miles, Otis Rush, Thelonious Monk, The Soul Stirrers, Willie Dixon, Charlie Musselwhite, Steve Miller, Nick Lowe, John Mayall, Earl Hooker, Muddy Waters, and Jimi Hendrix. By 1968, he had forged a close friendship with Mike Bloomfield; they were roommates for many years until Bloomfield's untimely death.
 The 1993 release of B.B. King's Grammy Award-winning Blues Summit album, featured a duet with JLW (a Walker original, "Everybody's Had the Blues").

"One of the most eloquent spokesman for the Blues, Joe Louis Walker is a marvelous gospel-schooled singer, a terror on lead and slide guitar, a fine composer, a decent harmoica player and chameleonic bandleader. Truly, Joe Louis Walker is the whole blues package. Here's an artist who seems poised on the brink of international stardom."
Author Marc Norberg - Black, White & Blues

"Blues guitarist and singer Joe Louis Walker emerged out of the San Francisco blues scene in the 1980s. Along with Robert Cray, Walked helped keep a relatively youthful black presence in the decade's blues revival with a series of acclaimed albums on the Hightone label.  Walker's guitar style is derived from the styles of such Chicago stalwarts as Otis Rush, Buddy Guy, and Magic Sam."
Author Robert Santelli A Biographical Encyclopedia of Blues

It's Official!! Lil' Ed and the Blues Imperials will be returning to the Shuffle in 2011! One of the most dynamic performers to appear at the Shuffle, Lil' Ed and his amazing band are easily one of the favourites to ever grace the Shuffle stages.
It's hard to believe it's been three years since his last trip to Thorold, but Ed has been busier and more prolific than ever.
The past year has been a good one for Lil’ Ed Williams. He and his band, the Blues Imperials, had a chart-topping record, won multiple BMA and Living Blues Awards including Band of the Year and Best Live Performer, and headlined festivals around the world.
Don't miss his triumphant return in what will no doubt be an amazing and dynamic performance - we've come to expect nothing less from Lil' Ed and the Blues Imperials!
Visit Lil' Ed's website here


The Shuffle is extremely pleased to be bringing north one of New Orleans favourite performers. We could not have hoped for a better addition than the amazing Mitch Woods! Woods has performed with all the Big Easy greats including Fats Domino, Dr. John and the Neville Brothers.

"Mitch Woods is easily one of the finest boogie pianists on the planet, and I would argue that he also incorporates wing-dinging swing, jumping blues, and gut-rocking rhythm & blues fury at its best. So we in New Orleans are especially proud that he has chosen to devote so much of his mega talents in honoring the great music and musicians of our city.
In New Orleans we take our fun seriously! It takes years of hard work to perfect a perfect cradle of butt-bumping, beer-sloshing celebrating, and for non-natives capturing that magic is even harder. But Mitch Woods has pitched hip-switching around the globe many times. And one of his favorite stops is the Big Easy, where he visits often and is an adopted favorite son."

– Rick Coleman, author of Blue Monday: Fats Domino and the Lost Dawn of Rock “n” Roll (from liner notes)

 "Pinetop Perkins is, perhaps the best-known boogie-woogie piano player in the blues, but pianist Mitch Woods is one of the leading contemporary practitioners of the style."
- Reverend Keith A. Gordon,
Visit Mitch Woods' website

Garrett Mason will be retuning to the Shuffle this year. One of the most accomplished Canadian Blues Musicians, Mason is the son of the legendary Dutch Mason but he has been carving his own trail for years.

Featured in the Bravo TV production Born to the Blues, Mason, clearly defines his own style and sound, and those who saw him in 2007, know that it is amazing.

Garrett's album, "Love & Sound", won the  Music Nova Scotia Award for Blues Artist/Group Recording Of The Year. It was also nominated for a Juno.

He maintains a hectic touring schedule and we are pleased he has agreed to return to the Shuffle.  Garrett Mason and Keith Hallett are opening for Gregg Allman, at the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival.
Visit Garrett's Site here


The Shuffle isn't the Shuffle without Jack de Keyzer. He's the only performer to have appeared at all 9 previous Shuffles and there was no way we would present the milestone 10th without him.Jack de Keyzer is a two-time Juno (Canada's Grammy) and seven-time Maple Blues award winning artist, blues guitarist, singer, song writer and producer and one of the finest blues guitarists on the scene  today.   The British born, Canadian resident’s career has spanned over three decades. De Keyzer has released 7 CD's  and 1 DVD as a leader and appeared as a session guitarist on hundreds of recordings. As a session guitarist he has appeared  with many artists including Etta James, Otis Rush, John Hammond Jr.,  Ronnie Hawkins, Duke Robillard, Robert Gordon, Willy Big Eyes Smith, Bo Diddley & Blue Rodeo. Jack de Keyzer’s songs have also appeared in video; rock & blues radio charts; other artists CD's (Prairie Oyster's Platinum CD Everyone Knows); TV soundtracks and in Motion Pictures. In 2010  and 2003 de Keyzer was awarded Canada's highest musical honour  the Juno award for  Blues Album of the Year,  for "The Corktown Sessions" (2010) and  "6 String Lover" (2003).

"The finest blues guitarist in Canada"  Jeff Healey
"If Jack de Keyzer was from Chicago, New York or LA, he'd be famous"  Bob Dylan
Visit Jack's website 


Karen Lovely was the surprise hit of last year's Shuffle. But with her list of awards and accolades it should have come as no surprise that she is a dynamite performer.
Those awards include:

2011 BMA Nominee BEST SONG "STILL THE RAIN" (Walker/Mirikitani)
2010 WINNER, Blues Revue “SPONSOR THE BAND” Contest
2009 WINNER, Muddy Award, BEST NEW ACT
2009 WINNER, Waterfront Prize – BEST PERFORMANCE
2009 WINNER, "Journey to Memphis" Cascade Blues Assoc .
Visit Karen's website

With a new big band, complete with horn section, a new big sound but the same dynamic showmanship, The Johnny Max Band will be returning to the Shuffle this year. He will kick off the 10th annual festival because Shuffle fans know there's no one like Johnny to "get this party started!"
Johnny was away last year but racked up some tremendous accolades since his last Shuffle appearance.
The song "Daddy's Little Girl" from the album It's a Long Road, won the International Songwriting Competition Blues song of the year!
And if that wasn't enough the album was nominated for the 2010 Juno as best Blues album. The band also garnered 3 Maple Blues nominations including Entertainer of the year, Drummer of the year for Vince Maccarone and Horn Player of the year for Johnny Johnson.

We can't wait for this year's kick off performance by the Johnny Max Band.
Visit Johnny's website here

New to the Shuffle this year is the Sonny Moorman Group. Hailing from Ohio, the band has been gaining momentum, awards and fans with their Blues-Rock sound. Blues Festival Guide named the band "Blues artist on the rise" in 2008. They finished second at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis in 2007.
Bill Ector of Hittin The Note Magazin wrote: "Sonny Moorman's award-winning blues is something you need to hear." And we're sure Shuffle fans will do just that.
Randy McNutt wrote "The Sonny Moorman Group, Cincinnati's premier blues-rock band, is back with another album, “Live As Hell.” Like guitarist Moorman's previous recordings, this one won't disappoint his growing number of fans. He can flat-out play—and sing."
And the Cincinnatti Citybeat wrote: "It's encouraging today to pick up a recording made by real musicians—talented, enthusiastic players who are close to the people. These guys don't need drum machines and the latest hi-tech gadget that's necessary to disguise sloppy playing and off-key singing. But then the Sonny Moorman Group doesn't need any gimmicks. All they need is a room filled with music lovers, and that's exactly what the band gets wherever it performs. Crossroads Motel is a fitting title for the latest from the Sonny Moorman Group. The trio has not only visited the cross section between Blues and Rock -- they've grabbed a room and set up camp for the long haul. (Hope they don't charge by the hour!) Moorman is a masterly guitarist and vocalist, well versed in Blues' various forms."
The Shuffle committee is excited about another fantastic addition to the festival.

Visit the Sonny Moorman Group website 

You spoke and we listened. This website invited our fans to suggest who they would like to appear or reappear at the Shuffle. We received many great suggestions and several of them are among those returning. Of course we couldn't get everyone but the number one choice was WSNB and we are pleased to announce their return.
The boys from North Carolina first gained our attention with their amazing performance at the International Blues Challenge a few years ago and they were instant hits at the Shuffle. They've been back a few times but were noticeable by their absence last year.  With their CD
Oktibbeha County reaching number one of the top 40 blues CD's played on The Sound public radio in the South and another CD due out soon, WSNB is poised to be even more incredible. The boys love Canada and are sure to be at the top of their game.
Visit their website here.

Another perennial favourite of the Shuffle, Jerome Godboo returns again in 2011.

"Jerome Godboo has electrified audiences of all sizes. He headlined at the Montreal Jazz Festival (2005) and Mt. Tremblant in (2009). He played the Toronto Air Canada Centre with Ronnie Hawkins. He played to a record-breaking crowd at the Montreal Jazz Festival (2004) and another 30,000 at Canada Day festivities with Jimmy Bowskill. Jerome wowed the crowd at the Vancouver and Victoria Jazz Festivals with Reuben Cherry. Jerome's network television appearances include CTV's Open Mike and Canada A.M., Much Music, City TV's Toronto Rocks and Breakfast Television, Global's News at Noon, CBC's Zed, TVO's Planet Parent, and In Session. He's also been showcased at Moses Znaimer's Idea City and on numerous radio shows."
Visit Jerome's website

If you haven't seen Shawn Kellerman lately, you haven't seen Shawn Kellerman. His dynamic performances have launched him into a new stratosphere.
This time he will be appearing with Jerome Godboo and, the two of them are guaranteed to present an explosive show.
He has played key festivals like the Arkansas Blues & Heritage Fest, Mont Tremblant, Pittsburgh Blues Fest and Blues From the Top . Shawn's band has also backed international blues greats like Sherman Robertson at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Fest, Memphis in May and Lucky Peterson in Moscow Russia.

"Shawn hit the stage smoking with energy and left it dripping in sweat."
Tim Holek (Blues on Stage Internet Review)

Krista Blondin has become a fixture at the festival and this year regular fans are in for a treat. Krista is bringing the band complete with horn section to this Shuffle! Every year friends who have seen the show bring along friends who haven't. But it doesn't matter how many times you've seen her incredible tribute to Janis Joplin, Krista's performance will blow you away!
Her band is terrific and when Krista takes the stage, it's not just a concert, it's an event!  Staying in character throughout, Krista will have you believing you've seen the show you never thought possible.

"Krista Blondin's portrayal and recreation of Janis Joplin is second to none in the tribute business. She successfully made it feel like a Joplin concert was directly in front of you."
Andy Frost, Q107 Radio


Another outstanding performer who is a favourite at the Shuffle, David Rotundo will be returning this fall. Whether appearing with Jerome Godboo or with his own band, David has always given a high energy show that always leaves the audience anticipating his next appearance. There's no doubt that David will bring some familiar thrills along with a few surprises at the 10th Annual Shuffle.

 "Rotundo can now be called one of the top 10 Blues performers in Canada and that actually means something now given the rise in Canadian talents in the last decade..."

Maple Blues Magazine

Visit David's website here

It seems we can't hold a festival without blues fans clamouring for Fathead - not that we would want to try. Always a pleasure to welcome back the amazing Fathead.
"Fathead may be the best blues and roots band to come out of Canada since Ronnie Hawkins hired the future-Band to become his backup group, The Hawks, in the mid-1950s. An ultra-tight ensemble, Fathead brings together the most respected musicians in the United States' northern neighbor to create an energetic blend of funk, soul and rockin' blues."
"The Toronto Star" praised Fathead when it commented, "If the blues were a sports league, Fathead would be the equivalent of an all-star team".

Keith Hallett
will be making his second appearance at the Shuffle. The young guitarist, singer, songwriter has been busy since his last visit - including a trip to the International Blues Challenge in Memphis. He and Garrett Mason will be opening for Greg Allman at the Harvest Festival.
This young rising star is an old soul.
"Keith took the stage and quickly demonstrated why he’s held in such high esteem in the Canadian Blues scene. This young man has an uncanny talent for making his guitar blaze through song after song with great ease and in many styles. In addition he has the voice and stage presents well beyond his years."
White Rock Blues Society

It's always nice when the young ones not only step up to the bat, but also take a good shot at knocking it out of the park. Such is the case with Keith Hallett, and his Debut Album "Bear With Me".
Consisting of 10 Tracks, 5 Originals and 5 Covers, Keith does not waste any time showing us what he's got, and not long into this dynamic release you come to quickly realize that Keith is the real deal.
"Bear With Me" shows that Keith, only 19, is not only a great guitarist with a wonderful bluesy voice, but it also shows that he has a amazing grasp of the blues and all it's intricate styles. ...
John Vermilyea (Blues Underground Network)


Every year the Shuffle is proud to present samples of the enourmous talent that exists right in the Niagara Region. And more often than any other band, Gatorbait has accepted the responsibility of representing that group.
They will be returning again this year and will once again prove that blues fans don't have to travel hundreds of miles to enjoy one of the best in the genres. They provide a great mix of original material with time honoured blues standards all delivered through a very tight and talented ensemble.
If you live in the Niagara region you've seen Gatorbait. If you're a visitor to the Shuffle, make sure you catch their show to be provided with good reason to return to the area.
Visit the Gatorbait website here

   Totally unique to the Shuffle this year will be an evening of amazing keyboard players. Opening for Mitch Woods will be Curley Bridges with Bobby Dean Blackburn.

Curley Bridges has been described as a vocal powerhouse astounded those who had gathered to hear him. Now signed to the Electro-Fi label, these sessions were Curley 's chance to remind the world that he's a master musician. For Bridges it's a revitalization of his career, act two of an epic that's spanned blues, r&b and the inception of rock 'n' roll. "This blues and r&b titan was the hit attraction at Toronto's Harbourfront Soul 'n' Blues Festival, as noted by a reporter from Blues Beat magazine, a publication of the Blues Society of Western New York: "Every good festival has a pleasant surprise, a revelation who brings down the house and blows you away . . . Curley Bridges, accompanied only by his piano and a skillful drummer, wove a fabulous and entertaining set.."
Sandra B. Tooze Electrofi

Joining Bridges will be another icon of blues and soul in Canada, Bobby Dean Blackburn. The famed father of one of the Shuffles favourite bands, Blackburn, Bobby Dean will bring to the stage stellar talent that only a career as long and illustrious as his could garner.
Bobby Dean Blackburn past is close to the roots of the blues as he can trace his Canadian heritage back to the Underground Railroad. He led the band at the Zanzibar Tavern on Yonge Street during the 60s and 70s. His powerful voice and impeccable piano style will meld seamlessly with Bridges and the two are sure to put on a show like nothing ever seen at the Shuffle before.

Visit Bobby Dean's website here

Brant Parker is a tremendous local guitar slinger who can match riffs with the best of them - anywhere!  Early appearances at the Shuffle kept him foremost in the minds of committee members and fans and when he returned last year, he and his band turned in a terrific performance securing an enthusiastic invitation back for the 10th anniversary.
An velvet, soulful voice and killer guitar work punctuate the performance of the Brant Parker band. If you're new to the area, check out this great example of Niagara talent - you will not be disappointed!

Visit Brant on Facebook here


Rich And the Poor Boys have been are making their return to the Shuffle after a few years away. Much in demand in the Niagara Region, they've developed a following of their own. Rich has also been joined by Paul Sonier, formerly of the Bloozehounds to form an outstanding and well rounded ensemble with great vocals, hot harmonica, and smoking guitar. Add a killer rhythm section including veteran drummer Grant Marchand and bassist Jerry Salfi to the mix and you've got everything every blues fans expect  from top performers - driving rhythms, great leads, and a passionate soulful show.

Visit their website here





One of Buffalo's favourite bands, The Blues Hounds, will be making their first appearance at the Shuffle. Hot off a stellar performance at the Niagara Falls NY blues festival, Shuffle fans are sure to be thrilled by this powerful band. They were the Western New York Blues Society representatives at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis. The Shuffle has welcomed numerous bands from WNY and the Blueshounds are currently their hottest commodity.


Visit them on Myspace


One of the all time favourite's of the Canal Bank Shuffle is also returning this year. The Rod Nickson Project will be back with his band after a short absence. Rod is always a tremendous showman and is popular on both sides of the Niagara Frontier. With a great catalogue of original material and some of the best and innovative arrangements of some of the greatest blues tunes, Rod will be welcomed back with great enthusiasm. He has never failed to wow the crowds, and we expect no less this year!

Visit his website here

Return to this site for updates as the festival approaches as
there are many, many more announcements coming!